My son is turning two next week. His bedtime is 7 pm. Sometimes, if he’s not feeling well or he had a long day, he goes to bed even earlier. As his mother, I recognize his cues that tell me he’s overtired or sick. This is common sense to me but I realize that unfortunately there are many people out there who believe kids are “fine” when often times they are not. I won’t give examples of over-tiredness cues as that is not the goal of my message because you either know them or you don’t or you do know them but you’re ignorant.
I’ve been told by many people in the past two years that I have a very strict routine and that I “should let it go once in awhile because it would be good for him.”
That’s honestly the dumbest comment I’ve ever received. If I agreed with it, my son obviously would not be on a schedule.
Most recently, when talking with adults about an upcoming Christmas party, they mentioned that it would begin after 6 pm. I turned to my husband told him that we would not be able to bring our son.
Within two seconds, TWO adults chimed in and said, “Why not?!”
I responded calmly, “He goes to bed at 7. We will need a babysitter.” I thought that would be the end of that. You know, since most adults should be respectful of each other’s schedules (or lack of) and whatnot.
These two people continued with comments such as:
My response: So that’s pretty close to his bedtime for a party arrival time.
“Can’t he sleep there?”
My response: No.
“Lol, so he can’t sleep anywhere else but home?”
My response: No.
“He’ll sleep in the car seat on the way home.”
My response: No, he won’t.
“Haven’t you ever slept in a car seat?”
My response: No.
“What the hell?! Never?”
My response: No.
“You have to break that routine, it’s nice to live a little.”
My response: My son lives a lot, he does not care to stay up at a stranger’s house. His schedule comes first.
*A bunch of BS continues on — to my shock*
I will let you all know right now, I can 100% guarantee you, my son does not lie in bed at 7 pm thinking “Damn, life is so unfair. If only I could go to bed at 10 pm and really live a little and break the routine. Life sucks. I just want to stay up with a bunch of adults I don’t even know.”
What I can also 100% guarantee you is that my son is very happy and healthy. He has a consistent, healthy schedule and I’m not sure I understand why this is such a problem to people who aren’t even a part of his life. A child his age needs 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. My son naps once a day at daycare after lunch anywhere between 1-3 hours. Then at night, he consistently sleeps 11 hours.
He wakes up happy between 6:30-7 a.m. and always smiles and says, “Hi, Mama!” ️
Consistency in a child’s life promotes reassurance, security and not ever wondering when his next meal will be or when he will go to sleep. I personally believe this reassurance eases any anxiety and detrimental emotional, physical, and psychological behaviors, but to each their own. I have enough respect for people to not go around and tell them, “YOUR CHILD NEEDS A ROUTINE, MY GOODNESS” because it’s none.of.my.business.
I can 100% guarantee you he doesn’t ever think to himself, “Wow, I am up way too early, I really wish I could sleep in until at least 9 or 10.”
I can also guarantee you that I also don’t think this way. I have no problem waking up at 6:30-7 every day — I am 31 years old and my teenage years are over. I slept “in” a lot in my teenage years. I’ve been waking up at 7 on weekends since I was 22. Seven is pretty decent actually. For a while, Noah was waking up at 5 am. I’ll take 7, thanks. I never think to myself, “Maybe I should put him to bed at 9-10 so I can sleep in on the weekend.” I’M A PARENT NOW, I’ve had my time to sleep in. I’ll get it back if I wish when my kids are older.
There have been times when my son has skipped a nap at daycare, for whatever reason, and let me tell you, his whole little self becomes out of whack. He throws himself to the ground, becomes very teary, has trouble eating and does not sleep well at night. THIS IS BECAUSE HE DIDN’T NAP. So I know, my son needs to nap to have a good balanced day and night.
My son will be able to break his routine when he’s old enough to be able to break it. He has his whole life ahead of him. Until he is capable of sleeping in to make up the required about of sleep he needs, he does not need to have his routine broken. He does not need to go to parties to see people who don’t take the time to see him during normal awake hours for a toddler. I don’t care what you all think, my kids will always be my priority and if you think putting my children ahead of my own needs, ahead of anyone else’s needs is…boring or sad or pathetic, then so be it.
So next time someone wants to tell me my not-even-2-year-old son needs to “live a little,” and persistently argues with me about my lifestyle, I’ll be breaking it down for you and I won’t be so nice. I don’t need or have time for toxicity in my life and I have no problem staying away from people like that. Family or friends. Blood related or not.
To all you mamas out there who have a consistent schedule, don’t ever let anyone second guess it or make you feel bad for it. Having a schedule is the most amazing thing you can do for your child.